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The European Neighbourhood Policy. A Geostrategic Tool for European Energy Security?

Seminararbeit 2017 26 Seiten

Politik - Internationale Politik - Thema: Deutsche Außenpolitik

Leseprobe

List of contents

Figures

Tables

List of Abbreviations

Introduction

Theory and Method

European Neighbourhood Policy

Energy Security of the European Union and the role of Russia

European Neighbourhood Policy as a geostrategy of (energy) security

The European perspective

ENP and diversification of suppliers and energy supply routes

ENP and pan-European Energy Community and market liberalisation

The Russian perspective

Chances of fragmented European energy market and bilateral energy relations

Looking east: Rising Asian demand for energy and the Eurasian Economic Union

Conclusion

Literature

Figures

Figure 1: The Neighbourhood Policy of the EU

Figure 2: Geopolitical competition between the EU and Russia

Figure 3: EU-27 Energy Mix in 2017

Figure 4: EU-27 Net Imports of Energy by Energy Source (in %) in 2017

Figure 5: The EU-28 Energy Mix in 2015

Figure 6: Main Russian gas pipelines to Europe

Figure 7: The Southern Corridor

Figure 8: The Eurasian Economic Union

Tables

Table 1: Imports of Solid Fuel to the EU-27/28 according to country of origin in 2004/2014

Table 2: Imports of Crude Oil to the EU-27/28 according to country of origin in 2014/2014

Table 3: Imports of Natural Gas to the EU-27/28 according to country of origin in 2004/2014

List of Abbreviations

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Introduction

The European Union (EU) has an increasing demand for energy, which is the basis for its economy and the prosperity of its citizens. Given the fact that the Union itself does not have the necessary resources at its disposal, it is dependent on other resource exporting countries – especially Russia. To become more independent from those countries, the EU follows a strategy of diversification of energy supplies and market liberalisation. In this context, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), bringing together the EU and 16 of its Eastern and Southern neighbouring states, plays a significant role. But the rapprochement between the EU and its neighbours is problematic regarding relations with Russia, which see its interests in its traditional zone of influence threatened. Given the high dependence of European (and ENP) states on Russian gas, Russia was traditionally able to use energy deliveries (or rather their non-delivery) as a geostrategic tool to push through its interests. With the ENP, which enables the coordination of deliveries and pipeline projects with energy transit countries, the EU has developed a geostrategic tool to potentially reduce the Russian influence on deliveries. Against the background of relations between the EU and Russia being characterised by non-static mutual interdependence, (geopolitical) strategies can be used to change the power relations between states in favour of one actor or another. In this context, the aim of this paper is first, to elaborate on the geostrategic functioning of the ENP and second, to evaluate the value of the ENP for European Energy Security focusing on the Eastern Partnership and the resulting changes in the energy relations between the EU, its neighbours and Russia, to finally be able to give an answer to the question “To what extent does the ENP serve the EU as a geostrategic instrument to improve its energy security?”. In the analysis, the European as well as the Russian standpoint will be considered to be able to reveal strengths and weaknesses of the ENP-strategy.

Theory and Method

The theoretical basis for an analysis of the geostrategic rationale behind the ENP shall be a general definition of the term geopolitics. Geopolitics is “the struggle over the control of geographical entities with an international and global dimension, and the use of such geographical entities for political advantage” (Flint, 2017: 36). Apart from the general definition, which establishes space and terrotory as the central categories for political action, there are different approaches to geopolitics, with two of the most important ones being classical and critical geopolitics. Theorists of classical geopolitics stress the idea of competiton between states over power and the use of strategies to exercise control over other states. While this group of theorists believes in the objectivity of the world, theorists from another school of thought, namely critical geopolitics, argue that the assumptions made by classical theorists and their ‘taken for grated’-mentality has to be rethought (Flint, 2017: 4-6). Taking a constructivist point of view, they argue that reality is subjective and socially constructed and that space and territory is not only the place where power struggle happenes, but also a strategic tool that is used for political ends. So-called geostrategies, understood as the “sets of competing and overlapping discourses concerned with how to organize territory and space at the border, and how to relate to the otherness beyond” (Browning & Joenniemi, 2008: 521), are “to be understood at the level of political aspirations, objectives and ambitions” and are “more a case of a certain will to shape reality according to a particular image than an actual state of affairs” (Walters, 2004: 679).

Based on the theoretical assumptions, a case study will be conducted to examine the EU’s geostrategic use of the ENP and the strategy’s effects on European energy security. The aim is to revel the transformative potential and character of the ENP based on an analysis of the actor’s aspirations. The focus of anaylsis will be lying on the EU’s Eastern Partnership and the relations between the EU, its neighbours and Russia, due to the region’s central position with regard to European energy security. The central hypothesis of this paper is that the ENP’s underlying logic is that the economic (and political) integration of the (Eastern) European neighbours into the European sphere of influence weakens the power position of Russia in the region relative to the EU’s. While the EU gains influence on (energy-related) decisions made in the ENP-countries (e.g. on pipeline projects) and improves the possibilities to pursue its (energy) objectives (e.g. diversification), Russia loses such influence. Still, Russia profits from the weaknesses of the ENP and European energy integration and has ways to counter the EU’s geopolitical strategy, reducing the effectivness of the ENP.

European Neighbourhood Policy

To provide security and stability along its borders, the EU has used the incentive of prospective membership to states in its proximity. But with the Big-Bang-Enlargement in 2004/2007 and 2013 the EU had reached its enlargement capacity limits and had to find new ways of stabalising the region. To solve the ‘integration-security-dilemma’, the ENP was established in 2004 to create a ‘ring of friends’ around the European borders (Browning & Joenniemi, 2008: 520-524), integrating six eastern European partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine) within the Eastern Partnership and ten southern partners (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Palestine and Tunesia[1] ) within the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)[2] (figure 1).

Figure 1: The Neighbourhood Policy of the EU

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Security objectives were followed by ways of achieving “the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration” (European External Action Service, 2016), by which the EU expected to gain influence and control on decision-making in its neigbouring countries. Therefore, the ENP can clearly be regarded as a geostrategy, used by the EU to orgnise territory and space along its borders and beyond with a clear aim of pursuing political objectives and shaping political realities. Besides economic and social development, trade and internal market, environment and many other sectors of cooperation, “energy partnership […] is a major element of the European Neighbourhood Policy […] include[ing] security of energy supply and energy safety and security” (EUR-Lex, 2004). Regarding energy, it is noticed in the Communication of the Commission on the ENP of 2004 that [t]he European Union is the world’s largest energy (oil and gas) importer and the second largest consumer and is surrounded by the world’s most important reserves of oil and natural gas (Russia, the Caspian basin, the Middle East and North Africa). It will increasingly depend on imports, from its current level of 50% to 70% by 2030, on present projections. Neighbouring countries play a vital role in the security of the EU’s energy supply. Many countries seek improved access to the EU energy market, either as current of future suppliers (for instance, Russia, Algeria, Egypt, Libya) or transit countries (Ukraine, Belarus, Morocco, Tunisia). The Southern Caucasus countries are also important in this respect in terms of new energy supplies to the EU from the Caspian region and Central Asia. (European External Action Service, 2016)

Highly dependent on energy imports from (Azerbaijan) and via (Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus) its eastern neighbours, the EU is aware of its neighbours decisive geostrategic value (Moga, 2012: 390). Therefore, the EU established the ENP as an attempt to organise territory and space in its neighbourhood to gain influence on matters of European energy security. More concretely, the EU tries to make strategic use of the ENP in search for political advantage, namely the change of policies within the neighbouring countries that contribute to higher European energy security. The same applies to the 2009 Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit, in which it is stated that “[t]he Eastern Partnership aims to strengthen energy security through cooperation with regard to long-term stable and secure energy supply and transit, including through better regulation, energy efficiency and more use of renewable energy” (Council of the European Union, 2009). While the Commission’s Communication of 2004 still explicitly mentions Russia as being part of the ENP strategy, the country was not included in the Joint Declaration on the Eastern Partnership of 2009 anymore. In the literature it has been argued that the multilateral approach towards cooperation within the Eastern Partnership framework, which would equalise the partners, caused Russia to stay out of it and rather opt for a bilateral strategic partnership with the EU. It has furthermore been argued that the EU feared Russian dominance in the Eastern Partnership and a conseqeunt legitimation of the regional status quo (Browning & Joenniemi, 2008: 536; Smith, 2005: 772). Therefore, the exclusion of Russia from the Eastern Partnership can be considered as a strategic European move to gain influence over the region at the expense of Russia. In this sense, the EU’s eastern neighbourhood cannot only be considered as an arena for the struggle of power or influence between the EU and Russia (figure 2).

Figure 2: Geopolitical competition between the EU and Russia

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The ENP, or more specifically the Eastern Partnership, can be regarded as a geostrategy to change the political reality or status quo. As a matter of fact, it serves the change of power relations between the EU and Russia in favour of the EU with the end of enhancing European energy security. And it works as follows: on the one hand, the enhanced cooperation with the EU’s neighbouring countries shall allow for diversification of the European energy mix and energy suppliers as well as of energy supply routes, on the other hand, the establishment of a pan-European Energy Community (EEC) and measures of market liberalisation according to the EU model are supposed to export European rules that first of all serve European interests.

Energy Security of the European Union and the role of Russia

The EU is the world’s leading economic power and needs a huge amount of energy to maintain its economic competitiveness. Producing less than half of the energy it consumes, it is the biggest energy importer in the world today (Umbach, 2014: 233). Although having been able to decrease its dependence on energy imports from 52.1% in 2005 to 54.0% in 2015 (Eurostat a, 2017) the EU remains highly dependent on suppliers from outside the EU[3] (European Commission, 2005).

The Union is faced with the problem that its energy mix is mainly based on oil, gas and solid fuels, which represent more than three third out of the resources used for energy production (figure 3).

Figure 3: EU-27 Energy Mix in 2017

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For the most part, these resources need to be imported from outside the EU. It is therefore not surprising that they dominate the European energy imports (figure 4).

Figure 4: EU-27 Net Imports of Energy by Energy Source (in %) in 2017

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[...]

[1] Syria has suspended its membership in 2011, Libya has only an observer status.

[2] The Eastern Partnership was formally established in 2008, the Union for the Mediterranean in 2009.

[3] It should be noted that these are average numbers for all EU-27/28 countries combined and that the numbers for each country vary considerably. For example, while energy dependency in 2005 is highest in Cyprus with 100.7%, it is lowest in the energy exporting Denmark with -49.8% (Eurostat a, 2017). Also, energy mixes and suppliers of energy from outside the EU vary significantly between the member states.

Details

Seiten
26
Jahr
2017
ISBN (eBook)
9783668572621
ISBN (Buch)
9783668572638
Dateigröße
998 KB
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v380665
Institution / Hochschule
Universität zu Köln
Note
1,3
Schlagworte
European Neighbourhood Policy Energy Security Geopolitics Geostrategy Eastern Partnership Gas Russia pan-European Energy Community Energy market Eurasian Economic Union

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Titel: The European Neighbourhood Policy. A Geostrategic Tool for European Energy Security?